BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There's been much talk about the violence in Alabama's prisons, especially at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women.
There are allegations that female inmates were beaten and raped by prison guards. Some people are upset over what the state prison commissioner had to say about the problem.
Thursday a small group gathered at Linn Park in Birmingham holding signs that read, "Justice for the Women of Tutwiler." Florence Parson's was one of the people who attended the small rally. She currently volunteers at the prison and has been concerned for some time. "I'm seeing some women that are pregnant and in my mind I am wondering how," said Parsons.
And to hear the prison commissioner chalk the problem up to simply, it happens everywhere and funding concerns; well, that's not a good enough answer for her. "We're not talking about what happens everywhere else. We are talking about what happening in your district. What you are going to do about what's happening in your district? Because you are the one who's supposed to make a difference," said Parsons.
Meg McGlamery, with the Crisis Center agrees, "It is happening everywhere that is true, but can we change that statement to say how can we change this in Alabama? We want to make a difference."
Small groups like the one in Linn Park gathered across the state. While they may not have a lot of supporters now, they're hoping that will change when more and more people stop and take a look at what's going on inside our prisons. "No one deserves to be raped," said McGlamery. "It seems like there is a stigma when somebody is in prison and they are raped so we really want to stand up and say no one deserves it. There are one in five women, one in 33 men impacted by this crime."
"I know they are going through something that they cannot talk about. They cannot answer about," said Parsons.
A Facebook page has been started, it's called "Justice for the Women of Tutwiler."